Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Geldkis Blinder
S33°58.67’ E018°21.62’ (top of the blinder)
A break is usually visible, though at high tide on a good day it may not break. Unfortunately if conditions are at their best, this will be the case. However the site is not difficult to find with a compass. From the gap between Geldkis and Strawberry Rocks, swim out about 40m bearing 030° magnetic, and you should be over the reef. In good visibility it will be visible from the surface.
Alternatively, dive at the gap, and swim north magnetic until you are obstructed by high reef, then swim around with the reef to your left. It is hard to miss as it is much higher than the surrounding reef.
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required
The site is just to seaward of the large rock shown on charts and maps as Geldkis, which is also a well known dive site. The highest rock on the reef is a blinder which occasionally breaks the surface at low tide, hence the name "Geldkis Blinder".
The bottom is generally from 15m on the inshore side to about 20m on the sand further to the north west.
Visibility is likely to be very similar to Geldkis and Justin's caves, but as the site is deeper, it may be better.
Geldkis Blinder is a group of large boulders and outcrops which extend to the surface at one place at low tide, where there is usually a break unless the swell is very low. There is occasional sand between the rocks in low areas, and the reef extends down to sand bottom on the seaward side at about 20m. There are numerous lower submerged boulders around the high ones. Some of the boulders have overhangs, or small holes and caves under them. There are also some deep narrow gaps between rocks, and a rock arch about half way along the northern side. The site is spectacular in good visibility. The blinder is a huge rock with an low overhang at the bottom which extends more or less to the surface from 18m, almost vertically on the north side.
Geology: Granite corestone boulders and bedrock of the late Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton, surrounded by quartz sand.
Often good during or after south easterly winds, but strong south easterly winds (offshore) can make it difficult to swim back to shore on the surface. The site is exposed to south westerly swells, and large or long period swell will produce strong surge and usually poor visibility.
The site is usually at it's best during summer but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and early winter.
This is an area which sometimes has upwellings, caused by offshore winds, and resulting in clear cold water, which may be followed by algal bloom (red tide), which will reduce visibility again.
None. Security is no better than most roadside parking in this area.
Shore dive: Park at the side of the road on the outside of the bend just north of the Twelve Apostles Hotel. The entry/exit point is Sandy Cove. This gives the most direct route to the site which is beyond the group of large granite boulders known as Geldkis about 300m from the entry point at Sandy cove.
Boat Dive: May be from Hout Bay (16km) or Oceana Power Boat Club (13.5km). Probably best done as a live-boat dive as the holding ground is questionable.
Seals often gather on Strawberry Rocks, and some may come over to watch you during the dive. There are kelp forests on top of the shallower rocks, and on the way to the site. Various brown and red algae grow on top of the rocks. Walls exposed to the south west and north west swells are relatively bare compared to overhangs, caves and sheltered areas, some of which are quite colourful and encrusted with a wide range of hydroids, crinoids, black mussels, encrusting sponges, small sea fans, hard and soft corals. The low reef is covered by pink corallines and large numbers of sea urchins.
There is a large portal/arch formed by a boulder wedged into a wide crack, a short distance to the west of the blinder offshore wall, and the wall itself is a fair height, as it extends down to about 18m from close to the surface.
A good site for macro photography, and opportunities with wide angle if the visibility is good.
There are two basic routes depending on whether the dive is from shore or a boat.
Cold water, hot sunshine. Strong surge over shallow rocks. Sea urchins. Strong offshore winds may develop over a short time.
No special skills are required for a boat dive, For a shore dive a fair level of fitness is required as there is a long swim to and from the site. Ability to navigate back by compass is recommended, particularly if there is an offshore wind forecast.
A light is recommended for looking into crevices and overhangs, and also because of the loss of colour at depth. A compass is strongly recommended for shore dives and the return should be done underwater if the wind picks up during the dive, so save enough air for the swim. A deployable SMB is suggested for boat dives, and Nitrox will allow maximum dive time after your long swim. It is really only of much value if you expect to dive for longer than 45minutes, in which case a dry suit is also recommended.